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Increasing the competitiveness of commerce of proximity through technology

Commerce of proximity is a key and differential element of the City of Barcelona both in terms of the volume of employment and GDP, and of the model of coexistence and urban configuration.  We are talking about small food shops, household goods, clothes, etc. of any neighbourhood of the city and those which are a little more important in the main streets of each neighbourhood.

It is a commerce with a specific weight far higher in Barcelona than other cities in which the large commercial centres have become bigger and bigger over many years.

The consumer crisis and the new consumer habits mean that this sector has been suffering a lot and many small shops have been closing down, and at the same time degrading our urban landscape.

The advantages that the small commerce currently take of the benefits of ICT are very few for various reasons: the penetration of internet and the technological knowledge are much lower than those of the commerce and users of the commercial centres; their differential characteristics (proximity, service, etc) are not keys in Internet; they don’t have a lot of margin for discounts (‘cuponing’, aggregated purchasing, etc.); and neither are they able to plan to sell on the internet (most of them don’t have enough differentiation, or margins, nor logistical possibilities)

The aim of the challenge would be to propose innovative solutions aimed at improving the competitiveness of the small commerce of proximity, either by increasing the traffic of customers, expenditure, loyalty, attraction of tourists, etc.  It is considered to be a priority to carry out an action that increases in a massive way the presence of these small shops of proximity on the internet, their presence in the main search engines, social networks, and the most used applications by the majority of the consumers when looking for establishments.

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